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Yvette Carnell: On How Computers are Creating a Second Economy Without Workers

by Yvette Carnell

In The Atlantic, Bill Davidow discusses what black people would be discussing were it not for our obsession with Obama’s dog, Bo’, or how snazzy the President and First Lady looked in their Easter outfits. McCain was right. The jobs aren’t coming back, and here’s why:

The Second Economy — a term the economist Brian Arthur uses to describe the computer-intensive portion of the economy — is, quite simply, the virtual economy. One of its main byproducts is the replacement of low-productivity workers with computers. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, brimming with optimistic entrepreneurs, and spawning a new generation of billionaires. In fact, the booming Second Economy will probably drive much of the economic growth in the coming decades.

Unfortunately, the Second Economy will not create many jobs.

Let me say that again; the Second Economy will not create any jobs. While most of  black media, from The Root to The Grio, are busy reporting the latest numbers from the most recent jobs report, the economy is shifting beneath your feet. They’re playing musical chairs, and by the time the music stops, your chair will be gone.

Either we jump on the virtual bandwagon – the Second Economy – or get left behind to sharecrop for those who saw all of this coming. We’re entering an economic phase where you don’t just get a job, you make a job. A phase which places less emphasis on the traditional resume’, and more emphasis on how one can creatively harness the power of the virtual infrastructure to earn income.

Maybe the answer for you is to start small and begin building something online after your 9-5 day is done. For some, the answer lies in collaboration with others who have similar online business ambitions. There are no rules here except for one: Lead or get left behind. There is no place in this Second Economy for followers, so if you’re looking for someone to tell you exactly what to do, or how to do it,  you’ve already lost.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld.


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4 Responses to Yvette Carnell: On How Computers are Creating a Second Economy Without Workers

  1. Frank Brown

    April 20, 2012 at 3:07 am

    As usual, it seems there are those of us with only a surface-based mentality. The article by Yvette Carnell sounds a clarion call that seek to point toward an emerging trend that is just now in its infancy.

    In spite of its relatively amazing recent growth, the cyber-market (internet and cellphone) has barely begun to make real inroads into the economic scene. The emergence of a worldwide economy makes it near impossible to depend solely upon the traditional job market. Cheaper labor markets like China, India, Pakistan and (surprise, surprise, surprise) the African continent help to reduce production costs, increase profitability and provide a greater return on investments.

    A hint to the wise should be sufficient. Just as the early 20th Century Industrial Revolution buried the agrarian society, technology is making it easier to supplant the the industrial society with the Information Age. The world has shrunk tremendously due to nanotechnology and its ability to reach a global market.

    We need MORE recognition of the need to CATCH THE WAVE and embrace the coming society…before it’s too late to get onboard!

  2. Derrick

    April 20, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Yvette this is strike three! The virtual market has & will increase opportunity for employment. The virtual market has created a 24 hour market place which gives opportunity for more to be bought & sold. Which in turn means more will manufactured, inventoried(counted), packaged, sorted, shipped, delivered, worn, laundered, repaired, discarded, collected, recycled,refurbished & sold again.
    We have to have more sold to us than doomsday & hopelessness! Please dig deeper for we need meat not similac!

    • BiggestBoss

      April 20, 2012 at 2:35 am

      You must be profoundly retarded Derick. The writer says that earnings now come from the virtual world, but not jobs, as in 9-5. It seems to me that she’s encouraging us to get on that choo-choo train. So WTF iz ur ax to grind here?

  3. Jim

    April 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I think many blacks do realize this-but though the venue may be different, earning a living on your own in the virtual world poses some of the same problems that going into business for yourself presents in the brick and mortar world. Example: on average, I would think start up costs for an internet-based enterprise are much lower-the flip side of that is, given the relative ease of obtaining a computer and getting online these days, the competition is that much greater.